A Santa Barbara mother had the scare of a lifetime Friday after her 5-hour-old baby boy was abducted from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
At approximately 12:49 p.m. the Santa Barbara Police Dept. received a 9-1-1 call from the Cottage Hospital security staff reporting that a 7-pound infant named Julian had just been taken from the maternity ward. The hospital was put on lockdown and the responding police officers joined cottage staff in setting up a perimeter.
Initial police interviews indicated the suspect was a middle-aged Hispanic woman with long dark curly hair, wearing pink hospital scrubs. Witnesses were able to identify the woman as 33-year-old Leianna Patricia Arzate and told officers that she had possibly left with the infant in a blue Chevrolet Impala.
An Amber Alert was put into affect at approximately 1:08 p.m.
Santa Barbara Police Dept. detectives determined that Arzate was associated with a residence in Santa Maria and within three hours of the abduction the alleged kidnapper was arrested and the infant safely rescued.
According to paramedics at the scene, the child appeared completely unharmed.
Investigators were unsure if there is any prior relationship between Arzate and any of Julian’s relatives, or if there are any additional suspects in the case.
As of this weekend, the investigation was ongoing.